I’m a Rookie Dance Mom

My husband and I agree that we want our daughter to try everything; we’ve been signing her up for swimming lessons, art classes, Soccer Tots and dancing.

My goal is not that she will be in Julliard by the time she is twelve, but more that I want her to try everything to see what she likes and what she is good at. She does not have to like everything, and she does not have to stick with it, but she does have to try. I see it as an opportunity for her to learn to take instruction, learn new skills and meet new friends. I don’t think you are ever too young for any of those things. Hopefully it will make her a more adaptable and well-adjusted child.

Annelise on her first day of dancing.
Annelise on her first day of dancing.

Last August I did what almost every little girl mom does: I signed my two-year-old up for dancing. With so many dance studio choices around the city, there is an option in every neighborhood. We chose Dancer’s Only.

The first couple of weeks were touch and go. She would cry on the way in to the classroom and come out smiling from ear to ear saying how much fun she had. Each week got better and she started asking me every morning day to go to dancing.

I also looked forward to dancing each week, because for mommy it means that I had one whole hour to myself. I was not alone; I sat in the hallway along with the other moms. But, I would spend the time reading. In the couple of months that a dance season is, I read eight books. I hadn’t read two books since she was born, so the opportunity to resume that hobby was awesome!

We were doing pretty well with our little system. Fast forward to June and time for the dance review.

Let’s just say that I am definitely a rookie dance mom. Yes, I danced as a child, but I don’t remember the ins and outs of a dance review.

Let’s start with the costume: I had to recruit my mom to help me with it because it was way past my sewing skills. Not that I had to make it, but I did have to take-in and sew on pieces and parts to fit my daughter.

Then there was the dress rehearsal with all of the instructions. I guess I thought when they said red lipstick, they meant just put on her what I had at home. Wrong! Red lipstick means fire engine red like grandma.

Another thing that was an eye opener was the process for reserving seats for the review. Yeah, this is pretty hard core: you line up, and they open the door at a determined time. Then you run to tape papers to the backs of seats. Apparently this is normal in the dance world, but my event planner self couldn’t help but think there is a better way to do this as I was dashing for seats and running up stairs, with a two-year-old, costumes and all the stuff we needed to have on hand.

Once we got to the stage rehearsal, I was excited to see her on stage and see what she had been working on. Well it would have been nice to see something. Instead, she sat on the stage and did nothing – she just looked at me in the audience. In her defense, she was the first group on the stage, and it was also naptime, but I was scared for what this would mean for the dance review with the lights, costume and large audience.

For the two days from the stage rehearsal to the actual dance review night, I had been prepping her by talking about wearing her costume, doing her dance on stage, everyone coming to see her, etc. I was pretty sure that this would not help, but I was going to try.

Annelise on stage, second from the left.
Annelise on stage, second from the left.

I even picked up a little gift for her to open at the end of her performance. She had seen it wrapped on the kitchen counter and asked to open it. I told her that is was for her after she danced on the stage.

That night as I got her dressed I think I was more worried about what she was going to do than she had any clue of what was happening. Her hair and make-up was done and backstage she went.

Let’s just say that the stage mom for our class asked me to go ahead and take my seat. As she pulled her off of me crying, she told me that perhaps if I left she would calm down.

When I took my seat, I had to wait two more numbers before her turn. I couldn’t even imagine how she was going to react. As her class took the stage with the lights off I could hear a child on stage crying and thought it was mine. When the lights came on, it was not mine. Instead she stood there for a second, looked around, smiled and stared doing her dance! I was stunned. I couldn’t believe she was doing it. She was so cute!

After her dance, I ran backstage to get her. I was one proud mommy! When I got to her backstage she was smiling from ear to ear. I told her that I was so proud of her. She said, “Mommy I want to go dance again!”

I think at that moment a star and a dance mom were born!


  1. That is so, so cute! The one downside of having all boys, though yes, I know I could put boys in dance, but they wouldn’t be wearing tutus!

    Go Annelise!

  2. Imagine my surprise when I check my reader and see a picture of a little girl that was in my daughter’s dance class! I’m Amy, Candace’s mom… she’s the first girl on the left in your pirate princess picture 🙂 I had to comment to say what a great job your daughter did at the revue! We honestly thought it was the cutest thing when she sat on stage during the rehearsal like “uh-uh. I am NOT participating with these hooligans.” Candace was really nervous then too though. I do think it was because they were the first on stage. They didn’t really have time to prepare themselves. At least the revue turned out great! I did find though that I hardly got to see any of the other dances. I had no idea having a child in dance was so…time consuming?…much work? haha! None of my son’s sports are like that. Good thing there’s a dvd!

    • Amy
      Too funny! I agree with them being the first on stage for the rehearsal may have been overwhelming. Once she got to see my Godchild on stage, she was good to go for the second number but I was thinking that it was going to be a disaster. They all did so great! I was really impressed with what they got them to do. They were actually dancing and not just standing there. I am with you, I also had no idea how much went into it. But she loved it so I will do it!

  3. The school where Addison is starting in the fall has dance on Monday afternoons (for an additional cost of course) starting at age 2. I can’t wait! She loves to dance whenever she hears music (or even when she doesn’t, ha!). I want to put her in Soccer Tots next year too. Like you, I want her to try everything to see what she is interested in and have the opportunity to experience different things. Love Annelise’s little dance leotard!


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